The Pacific Asia Travel Association has commenced its much-anticipated 60th anniversary and Annual Conference event at the China World hotel in Beijing.
Under the theme ‘Building Tourism: Past. Present. Progressive’, the conference programme addressed a number of the biggest issues facing travel and tourism executives.
During the opening session, his excellency Wang Qi Shan, vice premier of China, said: “China’s tourism has achieved remarkable progress and become one of the largest tourism markets in the world.
“The tourism industry has entered a golden age and, in the five years to come, the Chinese government will take multiple measures to bolster tourism in the country.
“The sustained and rapid development of China’s tourism benefits not only the Chinese people but brings more development to the Asia Pacific region as a whole.”
A must-attend event for the travel and tourism industry, the PATA 60th anniversary and Annual Conference attracted a total number of 1,000 delegates including ministers, PATA members and tourism professionals from across all sectors.
Of the 1,000 registered to attend, there are 460 international delegates, 540 local delegates, seven ministers, 35-diplomats and 180 media persons.
Together they represent 66-countries and regions, along with more than 400-organisations.
Said Bill Calderwood, interim chief executive, PATA: “Over the course of six decades, PATA helped transform this far-flung region into what is today, the fastest growing tourism destination in the world with a staggering transformation.
“From just 100,000 visitor arrivals in the early 1950s, PATA is expecting 566-million arrivals into Asia and the Pacific in 2011, with a further seven per cent year-on-year growth until 2013. China, of course, is a key engine for this growth.
“In the space of just 14-years, international visitor arrivals to China have increased 132 per cent, while tourism’s contribution to the country’s GDP has tripled. However China, along with the rest of the Asia Pacific region, must be prepared for the many challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.